A lot of the ‘green wedding advice’ out there tends to be too generic to be practical in our area. ‘Seasonal and local’ eco-resources, that many green brides take for granted in other locations, may require the conscious couple to be extra creative in accomplishing an eco-responsible wedding here in the Bay. I have taken advantage of my visiting sister, a florist in Ireland (anthesisfloral.com), to pick her brain about trends in Europe that are relevant to weddings here. While there are couples out there determined to make their own recycled stationary paper and locally source vintage second hand table settings for 300 people, I’m going to focus on EASY ways to shift your wedding in an ecological direction. And tips that pertain to where we live.
- Consider going digital with your invitations. Besides the obvious of saving trees and eliminating energy intensive logistics, digital invitations can be highly personalized and provide an easy way to attach additional info like maps. You can also attach quirky info about communicating bilingually, fun places to explore and eco-tourism or charitable opportunities.
- Florals and Decor: a trend abroad is going oasis-free, the green floral foam so ubiquitous in the floral industry. To avoid the non biodegradable foam, use balled up chicken wire hidden in opaque vases, or, when using glass, clear one sided tape can be gridded on the vase top for extra support. Consider using local tropical fruits that can eaten later for the floral displays. Alternatively, Mexico has a beautiful tradition of paper flower making – hire a local paper artisan to create these gorgeous and enduring crepe paper or even painted corn husk florals. You can also tap into local basket weaving traditions, using palm and canes, to create lovely holders for arrangements that can be re-used afterward. Another eco-option is celebrating Mexican terra cotta traditions by decorating with potted plants, like bougainvillea, which can later be planted in a garden (or kept potted!). If you do use disposable cut flowers, consider donating the arrangements to a local hospital so that venue staff doesn’t send the arrangements to a landfill once the guests go home.
- For the wedding party, consider selecting a color ensemble rather than the specific items a wedding party is to wear. This way wedding party members can use items they already own, are personally flattering or that fit their budget best, thus ensuring the outfits will be valued and re-worn in the future.
- When it comes to food, of course local and seasonal is the best strategy. Menus personalized to the type of crowd will always generate less waste than buffets. Arrange ahead of time for leftovers to be donated to a good cause. Mexico is now producing biodegradable to-go packaging made from avocado pits!
- Whether clothing or jewelry, having a family heirloom modernized and re-worked is a wonderful option to ‘upcycle’. Mexico, in particular, has many skilled artisans who can customize a family ring, making it unique to you while maintaining its sentimental roots.
- Rather than water bottles, make stations of gourmet Agua fresca jars that include pure water in addition to seasonal flavors.
- If you are considering releasing en masse balloons, lanterns, birds or butterflies…please reconsider.
- Cut down on clutter in general with your wedding – many given away favors and momentos end up being clutter in your guests lives that they feel guilty about throwing away. When it comes to gift giving, especially when the couple already has a fully-stocked household before marriage, consider giving them experiences rather than things. Encouraging guest donations to charitable causes is becoming a popular option for many couples.
All the best with your eco-event planning. We hope your mindful wedding is the beginning of a life brimming with happiness and as well as sustainability.